Dear Editor:

Domestic Violence Service Center wishes to extend its heartfelt gratitude to all the businesses, groups and individuals who so generously donated toys, personal care items, gift cards, bedding, food and monetary gifts so that the women and children in our shelter and other programs could have a brighter holiday season. The outpouring of support and generosity from the community was especially meaningful because it enabled us to provide a gift and a smile for each of the children and women housed in our shelter.

While the holiday season comes upon us each December, domestic violence takes place in our community every day of the year. Recent shocking statistics provide a frightening glimpse into what is taking place in our area.

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence is reporting that for 2009, Luzerne County has placed third behind Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in the number of domestic violence-related homicides. Also in 2009, there was a domestic violence-related death in Carbon County.

This year, Domestic Violence Service Center expects to serve more than 2,000 victims of battering and abuse.

Domestic violence knows no social or economic background. Anyone can become a victim and almost everyone knows someone who is a victim of domestic violence.

This month, Domestic Violence Service Center is launching its Annual Campaign. We are asking the community to continue its generosity and to remain committed to helping us put an end to battering and abuse. Your gift to Domestic Violence Service Center will insure trained counselors are available to go to hospital emergency rooms in the middle of the night to comfort battering victims seeking help.

Your donation will help support our emergency shelter program where victims of domestic violence and their children can find safety, respite and the path to a life that is free from violence.

Your generosity and compassion can save lives.

Founded in 1976, Domestic Violence Service Center serves Luzerne and Carbon Counties. DVSC is the only agency in the two-county service area to provide shelter and direct services to victims of domestic violence. Other services provided free of charge include transitional housing, 24-hour hotline, crisis intervention, information and referrals, supportive options counseling, individual and group support counseling, community outreach and education, trainings for medical professionals and numerous other services for victims of domestic violence. All Domestic Violence Service Center services are free and kept completely confidential.

Please help us to continue to provide quality services to battered and homeless women and their children by sending your tax-deductible donation to Domestic Violence Service Center, P.O. Box 2177, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703. To donate online or to find additional information, please go to www.domesticviolenceservice.org [1].

If you are a victim of domestic violence, please know that you are not alone. You can call our 24-hour hotline for help at 823-7312 or 1-800-424-5600.

Sincerely,

Carol Crane, Development Director

Domestic Violence Service Center

P.O. Box 2177

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703